Leave marriage a religious matterPublished 5:44am Sunday, October 28, 2012
I find myself facing a conundrum when voting on the marriage amendment Nov. 6. My religious faith and respect for tradition strongly motivate me to vote one way. However, 1. the marriage amendment speaks nothing about divorce, remarriage, cohabitation and bearing children out of wedlock, which may have a greater influence on a child’s sense of well-being and its effect on families as well. And 2. an underlying theme of our constitution is to protect the rights of the minority against the whims of the majority. Embedding discrimination in our state constitution, well intended as it may be, sets a precedence which we may come to regret.
Is there alternative? I would offer a starting point of discussion. For many, I think the word “marriage” is the problem. Marriage does not have to be a the definition of two people seeking a legal partnership. Call it a “civil partnership,” call it whatever you want, but have it be done at the courthouse where it belongs. Leave marriage as a sacred, religious ceremony conducted in houses of worship where it belongs. It might take a generation to get used to; but, hopefully, it would protect the definition of marriage as most people perceive it while, at the same time, defusing the discrimination against those whose lifestyle may differ from ours.